RFS fire spread prediction for Saturday, ember attacks

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The New South Wales Rural Fire Service has issued a troubling map showing the predicted fire spread tomorrow including the doubling of blazes already 100,000 hectares in size.

There will be “dangerous fires” on Saturday in the Shoalhaven, South Coast and Snowy Mountains regions and areas surrounding Greater Sydney including to the city’s northwest.

The grey areas are those currently burnt, the red shows the potential spread of fires and the dotted red areas indicate those at risk of potential ember attack.

The RFS predicts the almost 200,000-hectare Badja Forest Rd bushfire in Countegany in Bega Valley will burn towards the coastline including the towns of Narooma and Bermagui, each home to thousands of people.

Two bushfires near the Victorian border could also potentially share the same ember attack areas as conditions worsen during elevated fire danger.

The 100,000-hectare Green Valley fire at Talmalmo and the 132,000-hectare Dunns Road fire to its north in the Snowy Valleys each remain out of control.

They were both at watch and act alert level on Friday afternoon.

RFS firefighter Samuel McPaul, 28, was killed on Monday in the town of Jingellic, which is being impacted by the Green Valley fire, when the truck he was in rolled after being hit by ferocious winds.

RELATED: The latest on the NSW and Victorian bushfires

Police on Friday confirmed seven other people on the state’s South Coast have died this week as a result of the bushfires.

“You should not be in potential spread areas or potential ember attack areas on Saturday,” the RFS said.

The “tourist leave zones” are on the South Coast, particularly in the general area from Batemans Bay to the Victorian border, and the Snowy Monaro region. Kosciuszko National Park is closed.

Further leave zones have been declared for Batlow/Wondalga due to the Dunns Road fire, and Khancoban to the south, along with the Shoalhaven area including the pristine Hyams Beach.

Temperatures around the growing fires are forecast to soar into the mid 40s.

It will be 45C in Albury and Corowa, 43C in Bega, 41C in Batemans Bay and 40C in Cooma.

In Sydney, it will be 34C in the city but 45C in Richmond and Penrith, 44C at Liverpool, 43C at Parramatta and 42C at Sydney Olympic Park, and 42C up in Wyong on the Central Coast.

The concerns don’t stop in NSW either, with fears fires could merge with another over the border in Victoria.

In Tallangatta, local incident controller Leith McKenzie said crews were doorknocking as many properties as possible in the region, warning people about the “horror” weather conditions.

He told the ABC that if the fires at Corryong, in Victoria’s northeast, and NSW burned as predicted, they could “suck each other in”.

An extreme fire danger rating has been forecast for Victoria’s North East on Saturday and the NSW areas of Illawarra/Shoalhaven, Far South Coast, Southern Ranges and also the ACT.

As of Friday afternoon, eight people had died as a result of bushfires in NSW including one RFS firefighter and two people had been killed in Victoria with scores more unaccounted for.

The NSW RFS fire spread prediction map for Saturday, January 4 can be accessed here.

Follow our live blogs for more on the bushfires on Friday across NSW and Victoria.

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